fiṭr [Arabic]

In Saudi Arabia, 20ᵗʰ century, two units:

United Nations, 1966.

The fiṭr is widespread in the Arabic-speaking world. In 1923, it was described in Arabia as the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the outstretched first finger,¹ that is, it belongs to the span family of units. A similar definition was given for the Egyptian unit², but some authors describe it as the distance from the thumb to the outstretched middle finger. In some locations it had specified value, such as 11 çboa. In Egypt, mid 20ᵗʰ century, it was described as 18 centimeters.³

1. Consul Bullard to the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, October 31, 1923.
Foreign Office Annual Reports from Arabia, 1930-1960. Vol. 1, 1930-1934.
Archive Editions, 1993.
Page 58.

2. Edward William Lane.
An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, written in Egypt during the years 1833, -34, and -36,… 5th edition. Vol. II.
London: John Murray, 1871.
Page 325.

3. Saadeddine Bencheneb.
Bulletin des ètudes arabes, Sept-Dec 1952, page 104.

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